Comment, opinions and reports from The Strad team and leading figures in the string world

Blogs Tuesday, 08 April 2014

When a Stradivarius costs $45m, creating an ‘Art Fund’ for musical instruments is vital

Association of British Orchestras director Mark Pemberton makes the case for a national musical instrument bank in the UK to ensure world-class instruments are not merely the preserve of rich investors

A Stradivarius viola (pictured) made the headlines last month with an asking price of $45m (£27m) at a forthcoming Sotheby’s sale. Next to that stratospheric figure,...

Blogs Monday, 07 April 2014

Violinist Jack Liebeck on weaving a story in Kreisler encores

Liebeck has teamed with pianist Katya Apekisheva to release an album of Kreisler compositions and arrangements on Hyperion. Here he describes the selection and recording process.

When I first suggested to Hyperion Records that they had a gap in their catalogue with a lack of any works by Fritz Kreisler, I did so without thinking of the workload!  Just choosing the pieces...

Blogs Friday, 04 April 2014

Russian violin teacher Yuri Yankelevich on how to achieve quick reflexes in your playing

Yankelevich believed that violin playing is based on key physiological principles. In preparing the English translation of his works, Masha Lankovsky takes a look at some of his suggestions

Many great pedagogues have observed that one should play with the ‘head” and not with the ‘hands’, but consciousness goes beyond just understanding the purpose and nature of ...

Blogs Thursday, 03 April 2014

Class and race should not be barriers to a classical music education

American violinist Tai Murray introduces some of the themes of her talk on ‘Class, Race and Classical Music’ with political activist Candace Allen at the English Speaking Union next week

I am back in London on Sunday 6 April for a coffee concert at Wigmore Hall. On Wednesday 9 April I will join Candace Allen – author of 'Soul Music: The Pulse Of Race And Music' &ndash...

Blogs Wednesday, 02 April 2014

Aaron Rosand on finding the correct bowings and fingerings

There are no short cuts to discovering the fingerings and bowings to suit your hands, writes the American violinist. Practice and more practice is the key.

Have you ever thought about an edition of music by a great violinist, as having a lesson from a master? An edition can provide an invaluable learning experience if studied thoughtfully. Bowings can ...

Blogs Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Astrig Siranossian, 25, on obtaining her Francesco Ruggieri cello

The French cellist features as a 'Fresh Face' in The Strad's April 2014 issue

A few years ago in Basel, when I'd just finished giving a recital, a couple came backstage to meet me. They told me they wanted to help me buy a new instrument and bow. At that time I already had a ...

Blogs Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Stringed instruments: investment, inflation and accessibility

Stephen Bryant, concertmaster of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, considers the difficulties facing string players when it comes to finding an affordable instrument

It’s not just house prices in London that are soaring out of control – it’s also the cost of stringed instruments. Last year, the 'Vieuxtemps' Guarneri 'del Gesù' violin of ...

Blogs Thursday, 13 March 2014

Travelling with cellos on trains and planes is never easy

Cello octet Cellophony have encountered various difficulties when touring, but charm and optimism go a long way, writes ensemble member Richard Birchall

Cellists regard their cellos rather like they might their own children. It is inevitable when you spend so much time in each other's company that a deep bond of affection will develop, and instruments...

Blogs Wednesday, 12 March 2014

A Brief Survey of Summer Festivals Without All the Bother of Joining a String Quartet – Part Seven

American String Quartet violist Daniel Avshalomov visits Cremona, home of Stradivari, to meet current Cremonese luthiers, Eva and Hristo Marino

A piazza Stradivari - no surprise, and richly deserved. A Stradivari cheese shop - well, why not? Doubtless the man enjoyed a bit of formaggio now and then. But a Stradivari travel...

Blogs Tuesday, 04 March 2014

Cellist Jan Vogler on life before the fall of the Berlin Wall

The former principal cellist of Staatskapelle Dresden is interviewed for The Strad's March 2014 German issue

I was 25 when the Wall fell 25 years ago. For the first half of my life I built up my musical resources to be ready for the second part, to travel and perform in the free world. If I had continued to...

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